Entrepreneurship and Career Development

Entrepreneur of the Month

#JumpstartCenterstage

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WEEKLY DIGEST
An update on the most recent news and opinion in the music world.

CAREER DIGEST
A bi-weekly roundup with advice and news on career development.

Entrepreneur of the Month: May

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#JumpstartCenterstage: Featuring the Music Entrepreneurs and Innovators of the Future

In May's edition of Entrepreneur of the Month, we're highlighting the next generation of music entrepreneurs and innovators from the Jacobs School of Music!

Project JumpstartIt's been the mission of the 2017-18 Project Jumpstart team to create a platform for our current JSoM students to join as a community in celebrating and acknowledging the innovative projects, bold ideas, and creative endeavors of our student body.

Through our weekly Facebook series "#JumpstartCenterstage", we've had the pleasure of featuring 18 of our innovative colleagues. In addition, this edition of #JumpstartCenterstage also highlights all of the members of the creative Project Jumpstart team behind this initiative.

At the heart of this series are the captivating visual portrayals by photographic designer, and Project Jumpstart Media Specialist, Matthew Recio. He saught to capture the depth of the Jacobs community via the people we featured, as well as the onsite locations.

As this semester comes to an end, take a moment to be inspired by the visions for the future and strokes of wisdom from our Centerstage features.


Directory of our features:

Alyson Kanne

Andrew Downs

Beste Toparlak

Chelsea Brinda

Chris Larosa

Dennis Rendleman

Jacqueline Skara

Jennie Moser

Jonathan De La Cruz

Joshua Harper

June Lee

Katie Burk

Lauren Gaynor

Leigha Amick

Lovisa Vikenadler

Marika Yasuda

Matthew Recio

Michaella Calzaretta

Rachel Mikol

Samantha Johnson-Helms

Sarah Cranor

Shelley Hanmo Qian

 

 


  Alyson Kanne

ALYSON KANNE - BM HARP PERFORMANCE

Alyson is studying harp at Jacobs under Elzbieta Szmyt. She has been a part of Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras (CYSO), and has performed with contemporary works with the JSoM Philharmonic and Concert Orchestras as well as the New Music Ensemble, supplementing her experiences playing standard orchestra repertoire with CYSO.

"I make music because it’s one of the few things today that rewards patience. I see so much beauty in the fact that the world’s greatest musicians have spent decades perfecting their craft.  Music is an outlet for assiduous expression. It asks you to become sedulously dual-natured: music requires both humility and confidence, discipline and passion, empathy and individuality.  But music also gives so much, challenging our minds and emotional capacities and building unity and understanding.  Music is a reminder of the astounding depth and beauty man can create. I’m not sure where my musical career is headed, but I know I want to do justice to these values."

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  Andrew Downs

ANDREW DOWNS - BM DOUBLE BASS PERFORMANCE

Andrew is truly innovative and a natural born artist. In addition to his performance focus on double bass, he's also a beloved conductor. In Spring 2017, Andrew was the winner of the Indiana University Bottesini Bass concerto competition and performed the concerto with the Indiana University Orchestra. In summer 2017 he attended the Aspen Music Festival as an orchestral fellow. After his time at JSoM, he wishes to pursue orchestral conducting abroad.

" 'Semper idem sed non eodem modo' | 'Always the same, but not always in the same manner'
A Motto of Heinrich Schenker that I feel explicitly exemplifies how I feel about music and every aspect of my life.

I come from a humble background in Alabama, and started my ever-evolving obsession with music with a horrible Yamaha synth singing Elton John, I guess that little queer was inevitably going to break out, right? I've always focused on music since I was little, but my parents never forced it on me, I knew that I wanted to be a musician of sorts when I grew up, but before that I wanted to be a train conductor as I was enamored with those behemoth powermongers. I had a teacher once tell me in middle school that I'd be a great school teacher or used-car salesman, I was devastated at this prognosis.

When I was in high school I'd thought I wanted to be a virtuoso bass soloist, giving recitals and advocating for the bass as a staple solo instrument. I was successful in concerto competitions, was a member of NYO-USA's inaugural year, received a full ride to the Boston University Tanglewood Insitute and played on NPR's From the Top, but once puberty ended so did my rebellious attitude against musical norms, I started learning the piano my senior year. I realized that I wanted to become an orchestral conductor. It's sort of inevitable, I mean I'm going back to my childish ambitious of conducting but now I'm enamored with another monstrosity, and honestly that teacher I had in middle school was right, I'm going to be a teacher and a used-car salesman."

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Beste Toparlak

BESTE TOPARLAK - AD HARP PERFORMANCE

Beste is one of the brilliant upcoming harp soloists of our time. She recently won the Gold Medal in the "Medallion International Artist Competition" in Atlanta and will be performing as a soloist with Orchestra Noir. You might have heard her most recent performance as the iconic harp soloist in the IU Opera & Ballet Theatre's production of Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor".

"For me, studying abroad is a thrilling journey, where I get to experience different practices in education, meeting new cultures, and individuals from diverse backgrounds. It’s an immensely rewarding and enriching experience. But it’s also a journey into self-discovery: being able to objectively evaluate one’s own culture and identity through the lens of the new culture, language, and customs.

I came to Jacobs last year to continue my education and fulfill my dream in the world’s largest harp department: the IU Harp Studio. Every single day, I wake up and remind myself how lucky I am to be a part of this incredible family full of talented people. The love, passion, and dedication I see in my professors and friends is what drives me to strive for excellence. I love the JSoM and it will always be my home."

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Chelsea Brinda

CHELSEA BRINDA - MM MUSIC EDUCATION & MM MUSIC THEORY

Chelsea is a dual degree student and an active choral singer at Jacobs. What we love about Chelsea is that everything she does in music is to move the art forward in a compassionate and selfless way. Some of the ways she has affected our community includes presenting at the IU JSoM theory and pedagogy conference on her research for teaching undergraduate aural skills, premiering the multitude of composer’s works at the Jacobs School, or teaching music theory to the undergraduates.

“I love teaching music theory and I want to be an expert teacher. I want my students to have as enjoyable of an experience as I had, and if that means learning about and trying new teaching strategies, I’m all for it. I am pursing two masters (M.M. in Music Theory and Music Education) so that I can make the technical and challenging aspects of music relatable, practical, and meaningful.”

PJ: What is your plan for the future?

CB: My plan for the future is to become a choral teacher and get more involved with the community. Music has had such a valuable impact on my life; I want nothing more than to give my students that experience so that they can share their experiences as well.

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Chris Larosa

CHRISTOPHER LAROSA - DM COMPOSITION

Christopher is a talented musician with a heart of gold. His compositional voice is genuine which allows his performers and audiences to latch onto every note. He is a an active composer of all mediums which has allowed him to be a winner of the Georgina Joshi Prize with the IU New Music Ensemble, the NOTUS Competition, featured in the IU New Voices Orchestral Showcase, the IU Symphonic Band as well as a showcased composer at the SEAMUS festival as an electroacoustic composer. His music is far reaching, having been performed by the Seattle Symphony, Hartford Symphony Orchestra, "The President's Own" United States Marine Band, Genesis Chamber Singers, and at the Seoul International Computer Music Festival.

“Composing, for me, is all about communication, collaboration, and community. The act of working together with performers to create something new—combinations of sounds previously never heard, played, or imagined—fuels my creative energy and gives my life communal meaning. At Jacob’s, there is no shortage of enthusiastic collaborators and inspiring colleagues, and I cherish the friendships and professional relationships I have found here.”

PJ: What are your future plans post IU?

CL: After I leave IU, I will be jumping right into a couple of writing projects: a suite for pianist Thomas Weaver, a saxophone quartet for the Pharos Quartet, and an evening length work for choir and electronics.

PJ: What kind of impression would you like to leave on the musical community at large?

CL: Through my music, I hope to encourage a community of coming together and listening to each other—after all, that is what music is all about.

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Dennis Rendleman

DENNIS RENDLEMAN - BM FLUTE PERFORMANCE, BFA MUSICAL THEATRE, & BME MUSIC EDUCATION

Dennis is a multitalented artist, impressively pursuing a triple degree here at JSoM. With his optimistic and compassionate personality, he is pleasure to work with. Apart from is flute performance focus here at JSoM, he recently played Chino in the IU Opera & Ballet Theatre's production of Bernstein's "West Side Story", and has worked as a choreographer for the IU Theater, Drama, and Contemporary Dance Department.

"As a triple major in flute performance, music education, and musical theater, I have found that any musician can perform but it takes special skill to breathe life into music. From my very first visit, I was amazed by the high quality and emotional expression found in the music at Jacobs. Here, you learn not only to be a great performer, but also to go beyond the printed sheet music because that is where the true music and artistry lies."

PJ: What is your plan for the future?

DR: My plan after graduating from IU is to perform on Broadway, play in film soundtrack orchestras, and/or tour the nation with a military music ensemble. I also hope to one day collaborate with Disney because it is truly inspiring, the amount joy they are able to bring to diverse audiences around the world. With my diverse artistic ambitions, I want to express to music community that artistry comes not from pure talent, but from the habit of finding the depth and originality in everyday life.

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Jackie Skara

JACQUELINE SKARA - DM MUSIC EDUCATION

A native of Long Beach, California, Jackie has been playing and teaching the violin/viola for many years. She attended the University of Southern California, where she received a BM in viola performance and a BA in French. However, it was during her masters at Northwestern University, studying with Dr. Roland Vamos, that she fell in love with teaching while taking the pedagogy sequence with Stacia Spencer. She then performed and worked in the greater Chicago area for a few years, where she served as principal of the Civic Orchestra and founder of the Allium String Quartet. Now in her third year of her PhD in music education at Jacobs, with the support and guidance of her mentor Dr. Brenda Brenner, she is excited to see where her teaching and performing careers will take her. Her doctoral minor is in viola performance studying with Steve Wyrczynski. She currently is the continuing strings teacher at Summit Elementary, Associate Instructor for the Fairview Violin Project, the Community Engagement Specialist for Project Jumpstart, and adjunct faculty at IUPUI.

"I think that many of us here at Jacobs strive for excellence in so many facets of our musical life. So, when I think of the impression I desire to leave on the musical community at large, I think of aspiring to be respected for my musicality, pedagogical skills, and my passion for all members of the community to engage with music. These three ideas permeate all aspects of my life and musical career, such that I am always striving for greater improvement and understanding so that I am better suited to provide high quality music instruction and opportunities to my students and the public. I want to show that we can have fun with music, be expressive, have good technique and posture, and be a community group of musicians - these are not mutually exclusive concepts.

During my time as community engagement specialist with Project Jumpstart, I hoped to connect more students to opportunities and events within the Jacobs School, to assist students investing in their futures through networking, professional development, and lasting friendships. This job was particularly meaningful to me because of the creativity amongst my team and our ability to produce impactful projects and events for our colleagues.

Moving forward, I am excited to have more time here at IU because this is a special place where I feel I can work with students, colleagues, and mentors who have similar passions for high quality playing and instruction. I have developed meaningful connections within my Jacobs community and the Bloomington community at large, and I look forward to doing the same within my future career."

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Jennie Moser

JENNIE MOSER - MM VOCAL PERFORMANCE

Jennie is a power house vocalist and website designer. During her time at IU she's been featured in IU Opera & Ballet Theatre productions of Strauss' "Ariadne auf Naxos" as Zerbinetta, and Britten's "Peter Grimes" as Niece 1. In addition to her opera work, she's been a soloist with the NOTUS Contemporary Ensemble as well as a featured soprano with IU New Music Ensemble. This fall she will be singing Gretel in IU Opera & Ballet Theatre's production of Humperdinck's "Hansel and Gretel", which includes a tour through Indianapolis. Alonside her studies, she's managing her own design firm Jennie Moser Design, focused on making cutting edge, bespoke brand identities for classical musicians.

"I was finding myself frustrated when my peers' digital and marketing materials, both web and print, didn't match up with the level of artistic achievement that they were accomplishing. I realized that most classical musicians simply don't have the time to be well-versed in the visually appealing, flashy marketing of 2017 (and it is important). As a classical musician myself, I'm passionate about designing materials that look just as good as my colleagues sound, and that help keep classical music visually relevant and current in a time when that's more important than ever."

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Jonathan De La Cruz

JONATHAN DE LA CRUZ - MM JAZZ TRUMPET PERFORMANCE

Jonathan is a passionate collaborative trumpet player. He is a member of the John Raymond Big Band, Soneros de la Caliza, the Jeremy Allen Jazz Combo, and the Toy Factory in Indianapolis. An avid spokesperson for his background and cultural heritage, he created the Mariachi Perla del Medio Oeste right here in Bloomington, in which he functions as a director, vocalist, arranger, and trumpeter.

"Jacobs has provided me with the mentors and life long friends that have taught me what it means to really know and what it means to love music. This place is where I began my journey into understanding and enjoying the “process.”

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Joshua Harper

JOSHUA HARPER - DM CHORAL CONDUCTING

Joshua Harper enjoys a multifaceted career as a conductor, tenor, and composer. As a choral conductor, he enjoys to work closely with composers, and create innovating, exciting concert experiences. As an Associate Instructor at JSoM he's served as Associate Conductor for NOTUS: IU Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, Associate Chorus Master for the 2018 new production of Lucia di Lammermoor, and helping prepare the 170 member Oratorio Chorus for Krzysztof Penderecki's "St. Luke Passion" which was conducted by the composer in November 2017.

"I was drawn to conducting because of the opportunity to create and shape sound. I try every day to not only communicate and craft something with integrity and heart, but also something that can mean something.
Now I'm here at Jacobs just trying to learn as much as I can, and every day I feel so lucky to be a part of this community."

PJ: What is your plan for the future?

JH: In the future, I am hoping to teach at the collegiate level, overseeing a Choral program as well as teaching conducting classes. My hope is to be at an institution that encourages students to think about the music they're making and the change it can have on the world around them.

I would also like to leave an impression of support and care in this community. It is so easy in our career field to become competitive or jealous of our colleagues. There are enough pressures on us as it is, so why should we make it harder for one another? In all of my collaborations here at Jacobs, I hope people walk away being proud of the music they made together. I hope they become better colleagues (if not friends) with the people they made music with. Our lives will be easier and our music will be sweeter.

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June Lee

JUNE LEE - MM JAZZ PIANO PERFORMANCE

June Lee is jazz pianist and an avid arranger with a big passion for transcribing, analyzing, and sharing music created by contemporary artists. Famous for his interview with Jacob Collier, he also serves as his de facto transcriber. June has also been awarded best jazz arrangement with Downbeat Magazine.

"I've always loved the feeling of being baffled by music, particularly harmony. I started transcribing to indulge my curiosity, and somewhere along the line I discovered my passion for sharing the experience with others in a meaningful way."

PJ: What kind of impression would you like to leave on the musical community at large?

JL: I think it's important that we as musicians achieve excellence by treating one another with integrity and kindness, and at the same time, being unashamedly selfish in investing in our own visions.

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Katie Burk

KATIE BURK - DM ORGAN PERFORMANCE

Katie is force of musicianship and talent. Not only is she an incredible organist as a soloist and collaborator but she conducts and sings as well. She has a passion for teaching as many of the Jacobs students may know, having had her for Musical Skills as their lecturer. She has been a member of NOTUS as well as the Conductor's Choruses on campus. She also serves as the musical intern for the Trinity Episcopal Church of Bloomington. We can go on about her talent and collaborative abilities but she is also one of the warmest souls you will meet on campus.

"The trajectory of my musical life is the curious result of a web of interconnected experiences as a singer, conductor, composer, high school teacher, and now, organist.

As the daughter of a church musician and music educator, I’ve been immersed in sacred music since childhood and have had amazing experiences in even more amazing places as a singer and choral conductor. To feel fully a part of the rich musical heritage of the Anglican tradition, however, I needed another set of skills, so at age 18, I took up the challenge of learning to play the pipe organ - a peculiar instrument and a bit of a mystery to those unfamiliar with it but for me, a living and breathing instrument that is invigorating in its complexity, history, variety, and capability.

I’m indebted to my faculty mentors and colleagues here at Jacobs for a plethora of opportunities to pursue all my varied musical interests – playing the organ, singing, directing, teaching, composing – and I’m confident these experiences will help prepare me for a multifaceted career that reflects the musical diversity of my upbringing."

PJ: What is your plan for the future?

KB: Upon completion of my academic responsibilities at IU, I’d like to find myself in a position that challenges me as a performer, pedagogue, and conductor; whether that work is in an academic or a sacred setting (or both!), I’ll be excited to engage with a new community and learn new professional and musical skills!

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Lauren Gaynor

LAUREN GAYNOR - BSOF FLUTE PERFORMANCE & PSYCHOLOGY

Lauren is a multitalented musician pursuing flute performance with interests in composition, musical theater, and singing. Outside of Jacobs, you can find Lauren working as a tour guide in the IU Office of Admissions and acting as co-founder and president of an organization called TEAM in IU's Student Life and Learning. She recently premiered her original song cycle UNHINGED based on the human experience in your early twenties.

"Going to music school wasn't always a part of the plan I had for myself but after coming to IU to study psychology and seeing the level of commitment and talent in the music program, I am so happy to have ended up in the school of music. It is such a privilege to spend every day next to such inspiring and focused peers and faculty. Jacobs is an incredibly unique place with such a high level of playing in the midst of a huge campus with so many diverse opportunities. In my time here, I've learned from my mentors and peers about how to carry yourself as a performer, and how to use the skills and hours of practice to tell stories and make music that matters--it will always be an enormous part of who I am as a musician and as a person."

PJ: What kind of impression would you like to leave on the musical community at large?

LG: My time at Jacobs has given me exposure to listen to incredibly skilled musicians talk about their experience in the field and how important what they have to share with young musicians becomes so clear--I would love to help leave an impression on our generation of classical musicians the importance of passing on the tradition of classical music to those younger than us as well as our peers outside of the musical community. It never takes too much time to invite a friend to a recital, or talk to a young student about how classical music can change your life. While it take intense focus to be a musician in this field, it is also our duty to help others be a part of it, and I wish we saw more artists reveling in the joy that this responsibility can bring.

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Leigha Amick

LEIGHA AMICK - BM MUSIC COMPOSITION

Leigha is a talented composer, choral singer and violinist at the Jacobs school. She is a member of the NOTUS ensemble as well as board member of the Student Composers Association. Always willing to help her colleagues out, she actively performs in all ad hoc opportunities that come her way. She recently premiered her composition for solo violin at the Hutton Honors College Showcase.

"One of the things that drew me to Jacobs was the sheer number of incredible people to meet and collaborate with. As a composer, I love getting to be involved in the performance of music, because it connects me with other people, and reminds me what creating music is about. IU has given me the chance to focus on composition, but has also given me lots of wonderful opportunities to sing and play. I love the fact that performing new instrumental and choral music with other musicians volunteering their time is such a regular occurrence here, and I love being surrounded by such a large and diverse group of composers - it's inspiring to me to see what my peers are up to."

PJ: What kind of impression would you like to leave on the musical community at large?

LA: Music's power to bring people together, and its power to enable people to express elements of their humanity that words can't, are what motivate me to write. As I go forward into my life as a composer, I hope that I will be known as one who cares about creating music that can be a means for expression and collaboration.

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Lovisa Vikenadler

LOVISA VIKENADLER - PD CLARINET PERFORMANCE

Lovisa is a collaborative clarinetist and arts administrator. Originally from Dalecarlia, Sweden, she is active as solo performer and collaborative clarinetist in Denmark, Sweden and USA. She has performed together with the Odense Symphony Orchestra and Esbjerg Ensemble, engaged in community outreach projects through the Giving Piano Initiative hosted by Project Jumpstart and Brandts Museum of Art in Odense, Denmark, and enjoys collaborating with emerging composers, conductors, and artists in bringing their music and visions to life.

As an arts administrator she has planned and produced over 50 events through her role as Manager of Project Jumpstart, co-chaired and managed the National Society of Arts and Letters Woodwind Competition, Bloomington Chapter, (2018), and assistant managed of the Carl Nielsen International Competition for Flute (2014) and Violin (2016). In May, she will conclude her Performer Diploma in Clarinet Performance studies here at Jacobs School of Music, and is looking forward to begin her Master of Music studies at the National Academy of Music in Odense, Denmark, in the fall.

“As I reflect upon the last couple of years here at Jacobs, I’m so grateful for the transformative impact this experience has had on my musical, personal, and professional development. Jacobs is this amazing melting pot of talent, innovation, wisdom and vision, and the students, faculty, and staff collectively create an admirable environment of support and dedication to the arts.”

PJ: What kind of impression would you like to leave on the musical community at large?

LV: My goal as an artist is to create a space for artists and audience alike to explore what it means to be human. I want the audience and my fellow artists to have the opportunity to inhabit my world, and I want them to share with me what it's like to live theirs. Nonverbal communication has always fascinated me, and much like body language or gesturing, music is this extraordinary medium through which we can share experiences, feelings, and stories with each other without the need for words.

I see classical musicians as storytelling time travelers; we get to tell the origin story, the intent of the composer and the legacy of our art form; we get to tell our own present story, saturated with our beliefs and experiences; and in between these two polar opposite time periods, we, inevitably, get to tell the story of everyone who has ever influenced us. The music ends up having so many layers, that it's impossible not to find something about it to relate to - and that's precisely what makes it so fascinating.

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Marika Yasuda

MARIKA YASUDA - MM COLLABORATIVE PIANO

We are lucky to have Marika amongst our Jacobs colleagues. Many of you may have worked with her as a collaborative duo and can attest how genuine and exceptional her artistry is. Whether she is working with singers, instrumentalists, new music, or opera she handles it all with grace and ease. She has been a collaborative vocal fellow at the prestigious Tanglewood Music Festival and we are privileged to get to work with her here at Jacobs. She is one of the warmest and friendliest souls on campus. This coming fall she will begin her DM studies in collaborative piano at the Jacobs School of Music.

"I’ve always known that I feel most fulfilled as a musician when my work involves other people. True music-making, to me, has always been about collaboration. I joined the Collaborative Piano Department at the Jacobs School this past Fall after studying solo piano performance throughout my undergraduate and graduate career. Since this transition, I haven’t stopped feeling excited about starting my day!

The diverse experiences I am gaining here at Jacobs have exceeded my expectations- I’m performing numerous recitals with talented musicians, immersing myself in language diction studies, and am learning my first (of many I hope!) full opera production for the IU Opera & Ballet Theatre. I am constantly learning new repertoire that I otherwise would have never studied on my own, and my mentors and peers in this program keep me curious and wanting to absorb as much information as I can.

Being a collaborative pianist means more than just playing for somebody else. It gives me an opportunity to create dialogue with my partners, learn numerous approaches to music, and sharpen my ears and awareness. Having studied mostly solo piano repertoire before this, diving into vocal and instrumental repertoire is helping me become a more wholesome musician, and it has been rewarding to follow along my artistic development.

Going through my classical music studies has made me think about how what we do provides naturally in itself a stability and structure that I truly believe is conducive to a good life. Concepts of discipline, self management, and the constant appearance of failure and how to deal with that… but more importantly, dedicating oneself to the music keeps one on a good path, and chaos at bay. Making time, fueling my drive, and having so much love for what I am doing now are the best gifts I can give to myself."

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Matthew Recio

MATTHEW RECIO - DM COMPOSITION

In addition to his composition studies, Matthew serves as an Associate Instructor of Aural Skills for the Music Theory Department as well as media manager for the Project Jumpstart Team. As an avid vocal composer, he was recently named the 2017 American Prize winner in the choral composition category and, this past May, his opera "In Memoriam" (with libretto by Molly Korroch) was premiered by New Voices Opera. Recio is a two-time winner of the NOTUS Composition Competition, a winner of the Cincinnati Camerata Competition, finalist in the YNYC competition, and a finalist in the Morton Gould Awards. William Stowman's newly released CD, A Timeless Place (Klavier Records Label) features Recio's song cycle Chronology of Storms, with poetry written by Jenna Lanzaro. This past year he was a featured composer with Beth Morrison Projects as an operatic composer at the National Sawdust theatre in Brooklyn, New York. He is pleased to announce that he is the 2018 Georgina Joshi Prize Commision winner which includes a premiere of a new vocal work with the IU New Music Ensemble in the 2018-2019 season. This coming summer he will be the composer in residence at the Luzerne Music Center.

As a composer of instrumental works, Recio has been represented at the Midwest Composer Symposium, the UNK Music Festival, the Hammer and Nail Dance collaboration, and the Double Exposure Film Scoring Initiative. His chamber works received recognition at the IMTA young artist composition competition and the Quartet Nouveau competition. Recio is a composition fellow alumnus for the IMANI Winds Chamber Festival and has written for the Atlantic Music Festival, the Valencia International Performing Arts Program, Yale’s Norfolk Chamber Series and Donald Nally’s grammy award-winning choir “The Crossing”.

“What we do as musicians is bananas. We consciously spend our days putting our soul on the line for entertainment, critique and self-analyzing. We prepare diligently for a single fleeting moment and then have to start that entire process again. The few of us that can endure that process then choose to find a way to financially survive off that experience. As crazy as that is, it’s the exact thing that makes us the most alive sect of humanity.

When I was younger I was concerned about where I would end up, how I would get there, and what other’s paths looked like in the arts. Today I can say that there is no single recipe. The one thing I ask now of myself as an artist is did I say something genuine according to my values and integrity? If the answer is yes, that is what is most important. We need to push our artistic boundaries but more importantly, we have to be proud of the message we communicate.

The other thing I have learned as an artist is that there is no competition. Competition is an unfortunate byproduct of academia. We are all artists and we all have something unique to say and the sooner we reframe our thinking, the better collaborators and support systems we can become for our art form. I want to create works with people who care about the process, whom care about the audience, and whom care about our art form in the bigger picture. As a composer that works with text, I want to tell stories that matter from perspectives that have yet to be heard.”

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Michaella Calzaretta

MICHAELLA CALZARETTA - DM CHORAL CONDUCTING

Michaella is a doctoral choral conducting student at Jacobs and has made quite an impact throughout her time here. She has put on stunning recitals featuring various student soloists and orchestras and aided in the preparation of heavy hitting opera choruses such as Carmen, Magic Flute, and Peter Grimes. She invested a lot of her time into the creation of new works alongside student composers as associate conductor of NOTUS and the music direcotor of New Voices Opera where she was at the healm of "In memoriam" and "Marilyn's Room". We are so proud of her recent appointment as chorus master at the Utah Opera and know that she will make the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music community proud for this prestigous accomplishment.

"From a young age, I have been enchanted by opera – the process, the creativity, and the collaboration of a multitude of art forms. As a chorus master, it is inspiring to guide a group of singers and watch them transform into characters on stage, as they are a fundamental part of the story. As a conductor who is passionate about both choral music and opera, it made sense for me to pursue my dream job as a professional chorus master at a national opera company. IU is one of the few universities that provides training and hands-on experience in opera chorus work within the choral conducting program, and I am so grateful to have studied under such outstanding and accomplished faculty at the Jacobs School of Music."

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Rachel Mikol

RACHEL MIKOL - MM & PD VOCAL PERFORMANCE

Those that have had the privilege of working alongside Rachel knows she is one of the most collaborative, genuine and hardworking artists out there. She studied her Masters and Performance Diploma at the Jacobs school under Mary Ann Hart. Throughout her time here at Jacobs she was featured on the IU Opera and Ballet Theatre stage as Dorabella (Cosi fan tutte), Niece 2 (Peter Grimes), and most recently Mary (It's a Wonderful Life). She is a champion of new music, performing as a soloist and ensemble member with the IU New Music Ensemble, the NOTUS contemporary choir, Conductor's Chorus, and the IU Jacobs School of Music Composition Department studio recitals. We are proud of her recent appointments as a young artist for the Spring (2018) with Virginia Opera and for the Summer (2018) with Opera Saratoga. She is a selfless artist with the mission to bring composer's works of all time periods to life via her own artistry.

"Growing up, I wasn't really exposed to opera. I knew musicals, songs on the radio, and The Beatles. I didn't know that I wanted to sing opera until I went to college and experienced the sheer beauty and clarity in that kind of singing, and was eventually part of different opera scenes and productions. The life of a singer has shown me acceptance, rejection, countless ups and downs, and every emotion in between, but through it all I have learned to find my own voice and my own niche, largely thanks to my teachers and mentors at IU. As a graduate student, I have been a part of many amazing opportunities and have been able to delve into all kinds of operatic study and performance that I wouldn't have experienced elsewhere. The knowledge I have gained and the opportunities I have had here have been invaluable; I wouldn't be where I am today without the Jacobs School."

PJ: Who is your dream artist to collaborate with and why?

RM: It would be a total dream to collaborate with mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato - she takes everything she does and makes it special and meaningful in a way that most others artists cannot. Everything she does is revelant and important. She is so creative and too cool!

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Sammy Johnson Helms

SAMANTHA JOHNSON HELMS - DM CLARINET PERFORMANCE

Samantha is a vibrant clarinetist, collaborator and teacher. In addition to her studies, she is Principal Clarinetist of the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic and Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra. In 2014 she appeared as a soloist in Mozart's "Clarinet Concerto" with Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra. She's also an active member of the Novacane Clarinet Quartet, a chamber ensemble aiming to elevate the clarinet quartet and its repertoire to an artistic level, and to reinvente the quartet genre by commissioning new music and collaborating with other artists to stage interdisciplinary performances.

"Balancing performing, teaching, and school work is a hand full, but completely rewarding. I love being able to step into the professional orchestral musician role, where the rehearsals are fast paced with high expectations, rehearse with my quartet and laugh a bit, and get the opportunity to exercise an entirely different mindset and different set of skills while teaching. The biggest struggle with a career like this is scheduling and, importantly, to keep my schedule manageable. I had to learn to say "no", and be okay with that! Down time is SO important for motivation, mental health, and family relationships. But, at the end of the day, I love that every day is different!"

PJ: What's your passion?

SJH: One of my passions is to inspire anyone, especially kids, to play and listen to music. With The Novacane Quartet, we hope to create intriguing and interesting programs that we can share with students and audiences around the country (maybe even the world!) to spark their desire to learn an instrument and continue to seek out live music events. My absolute favorite performances are for kids, because they think live musicians are the coolest thing ever, and I hope to foster and encourage their curiosity throughout their adult lives. This is the future of our audiences in classical music!

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Sarah Cranor

SARAH CRANOR - DM VIOLIN HISTORICAL PERFORMANCE

Sarah is a dynamic performer who encompasses a broad variety of style periods and interests. She's currently studying baroque violin with Stanley Ritchie, works as an AI in the Historical Performance Institute, and pursues emphases in modern violin and music education as well. As a performer, she's an avid collaborator with living composers as well, and recently performed IU composer Jake Gunnar Walsh’s works at the SunSneeze Festival in Texas. She's also runs a successful small business "Sarah's Violin Bags, LLC", which serves string players world wide with extra protection for their instrument from temperature and humidity fluctuations.

“Jacobs is an incredible place musically, artistically, and communally - where else can your days regularly include collaborating with world renowned baroque violinist Elizabeth Blumenstock, rehearsing in the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra, practicing a solo contemporary work for baroque violin written by a fellow IU student, and teaching fundamentals of violin in the local public schools and arts programs? Sometimes it’s easy to become overwhelmed, and time management becomes a top priority. But I can’t imagine a more exciting, inspiring place to pursue true artistry.

I believe that music underpins our emotional expression for all aspects of our existence, and that classical music is of crucial importance in all of our lives. I know I will leave Jacobs with lasting friendships, but above all with great awareness of how classical music changes, adapts, and integrates into our 21st century life."

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Shelley Hanmo Qian

SHELLEY HANMO QIAN - DM PIANO PERFORMANCE & MA ARTS ADMINISTRATION

Apart from pursuing her double major in Piano Performance and Arts Administration, Shelley is also Vice President of Classical Connections, and pianist & artistic coordinator of the "Sandes & Qian Duo". If you want something to look forward to Shelley is collaborating with violinist Jennifer Lang, String Faculty at The Saint Paul Conservatory of Music, for a concert titled "A Mother's Day Musical Feast: Music for Violin and Piano", on May 13, 2018, in Saint Paul, MN.

"Through my interest of innovative music projects, and thanks to my mentors and colleagues at Jacobs, I've come to realize the necessity of strong entrepreneurship and leadership skills for a proactive 21st century musician.

As a double major in Arts Administration and Piano Performance, I enjoy how the two areas complement each other: My focus on Piano performance helps me develop into the artist I want to be; while The Arts Admin field enables me to obtain knowledge of the current arts and cultural climate, to work with people in different communities, to understand the social impact of the arts, and to gain first-hand experience as an arts administrator. I believe that all of these skills will serve as crucial assets in developing my professional music career.

Being the Vice President of Classical Connections, I am fortunate to be part of the organization’s mission to bring the joy of music to different Bloomington communities, while simultaneously motivating more than three hundred JSoM students to develop a passion for community engagement and music ambassadorship that will greatly benefit their music careers.”

PJ: What is your plan for the future?

SHQ: I would like to pursue a music career collaborating with other musicians to promote innovative programming and to create social value through music-making. There are many possibilities out there for forward-looking musicians. And I can't wait for the journey ahead of me. Meanwhile, I would like to thank IU Jacobs School of Music and SPEA for giving me the best training and experience in preparation for my professional career.

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Project Jumpstart partners with the Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at the IU Kelley School of Business.